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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 18, 2017, 5:53am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Paul M. from over a month ago:
"Hey, glad you got the early copies of Discovery! Having watched the first season, could you tell me why you think it's not Star Trek, but 'something else entirely"?

Can't tell you. Temporal Prime Directive.

Oh wait... the trailer is already out. There's your answer then.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, May 18, 2017, 5:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"Looks like JJ Abrams' Star Trek, the TV series. Lots of war, flashy lights, CGI and cartoony "epic" dialogue."

Yup.

I called it over a month ago:
"As for Discovery - it looks like we're going to have a complete reboot (or a "re-imagination") of the TOS era which is "darker" and "grittier". Sounds familiar? Didn't we already do this 8 years ago?"

And I'm not taking credit for being a genius prophet or anything. It was an incredibly obvious prediction. Every bit of info they released over the past few months, starting with the era in which the show is set, pointed to that direction.

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 5, 2017, 9:56am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I agree. More aliens is good.

As for human diversity, though, good old TOS did it best: An African woman, a Japanese dude an a Russian guy. I'm still amazed that this bold ensamble was cleared by the networks in the 1960's.

(as for Bashir being "middle-eastern" - is there any canon evidence of that?)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 5, 2017, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

With contemporary dramas - I agree.

But Star Trek isn't a contemporary drama. When it is "talky", it is talky about universal humanistic themes which should work equally well in China and Europe as they do in America.

Is there - for example - any evidence that TNG (the talkiest of them all) was less of a success overseas then it was in the states? Good Trek transcends national and cultural boundaries.

In short, you are 100% right that Star Trek has more international appeal then (say) an American-centered sitcom. But claiming that the difference is due to Trek being "less talky" is completely missing what Trek is all about. And having the CEO of CBS saying this is... worrying, to say the least.

Besides, one should take this specific statement that Moonves said in context. Have you ever heard him (or anyone else on their current team) speaking about the intelligent themes that Discovery is going to tackle? They've had months to drop *some* hint about this new show having some kind of intellectual depth, yet we've got nothing. Zero. Zilch. Why are they so afraid of going that route in their promotional campaigns, unless they truely believe that "smart doesn't sell"?

And of-course, we've already had one example of Star Trek being "repackaged" for the international market (JJ-Trek) and it turned out to be dumber than a box of hammers. So Paramount, at least, definitely think that the international audience is stupid.

My only consolation is that these films didn't really succeed financially. The international audience ain't as dumb as TPTB thought they are. "Beyond" barely broke even when you add all the numbers up, and you know why? Because Trek is not "The Fate of the Furious", and cannot succeed by pertending to be such a film.

See, you gotta decide what kind of franchise you wanna make. There's a huge market for silly action films, and there's a decent market for Star Trek. Going either route is fine, but if you try to combine them together then you're just confusing the heck out of both target audiences.

And this is true for the international market, just as it is true for the domestic one. You think there aren't plenty of Chinese (or French or Australian) Trekkies who are furious at what JJ-Trek did to their beloved franchise?

And on the other side of the coin: There are plenty of Chinese (and French and Australian) fellows who won't watch Star Trek no matter how it is packaged.

I think you'll find that the situation overseas - in this respect - is very similar to the one in the states. The only thing you should really do in order to increase the show's appeal to the interational market, is to have a multinational cast and less "Americanized" themes... which is two things that Star Trek shows should be doing anyway.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, May 5, 2017, 3:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I find this quote from Moonves to be interesting:

"You know that a Star Trek will travel. You know a The Good Wife [spin-off] might not do nearly as well. It is much more of an American show. There is much more talking involved as opposed to action-adventure. So [international sales] does affect your decisions, but not exclusively."

Right there he pretty much admits that the dumbing down of Star Trek in the past decade was to "make the international market happy".

I can't think of a more depressing reason to sell the soul of Trek. Selling out just because they're greedy may not be nice, but selling out because they think that "the entire world except the US of A is stupid" is a million times worse. Yuck.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, May 2, 2017, 5:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Iceman
"Honestly, when you're as rich a company as CBS, there's no excuse. It can't be that hard to find a committed, talented group of writers."

Doesn't really matter how talented the writers are, if the suits veto every good idea and insist on pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Remember "Enterprise"? B&B get a lot of flak for the way that show went, but most of it was actually UPN's fault. It was the network that insisted on the stupid stuff, such as the Temporal Cold War and the wannabe-sex scenes. It was UPN that nixed ideas which would have made the show a much better prequel: a first season on earth, no transporters, laser pistols instead of phaser... ehm "phase pistols" and so on.

Personally, I think "Enterprise" wasn't that bad, but if CBS tries to do the same thing for Discovery it will be a complete disaster. Enterprise was saved by two things:

1. It was set in one of the most interesting eras of Trek history. It is actually a time period when "making history with every light year" makes sense.

2. It was far enough removed in time from TOS, that it could have its own feel without violating continuity too much.

Discovery doesn't have these two safety nets. It is set in the same decade as "The Cage", which means that going the "UPN Enterprise" route will effectively reboot the TOS Era beyond recognition.

And with all due respect to events like Axanar, the 2250's simply aren't that interesting. I was willing to forgive Ferengi and "phase pistols" when the prize was to watch the greatest events on Trek History unfold before my eyes (the dawn of the UFP and the Romulan Wars). I will not be so willing to forgive a complete reimagination of the TOS Era, just to learn the details of a relatively minor 23rd century event.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Apr 25, 2017, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

This is really getting rediculous... Did someone cast a curse on the show or something?

Maybe we should start calling it "the Scottish Series"...
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 10:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Alex

"As using Trek's brand and IP is not permissible, it is time to do real Trek under a new brand with new characters and new IP."

I've been saying this ever since those "fanfiction guidlines" were announced last year.

And you know something? Even if Discovery were on the right track, I think the time is ripe for more sci fi of the "optimistic humanistic future" type. There are so many ways to tackle this general idea, and it's kind of depressing that no other sci fi brand has attempted to do so. I mean, it has been HALF A CENTURY since Star Trek first showed the way.

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Apr 19, 2017, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@ JPaul

Well, to be fair, Wilson doesn't look anywhere near 51.

@ Lupe

We already know that there will be a male gay character on the show: Lt. Stamets (although for the life of me, I don't understand why the sexual preferences of the ship's astromycologist should be any of our business. If it will be relevant to the story, fine. But I have a terrible feeling it won't be...)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 10, 2017, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Paul "Hey, glad you got the early copies of Discovery! Having watched the first season, could you tell me why you think it's not Star Trek, but 'something else entirely"?

Paul, we've all seen the promos. One does not need a crystal ball to see exactly where this is heading. It was clear from the minute they've stated that the show is set in the 2250's, and every single teaser we've got since then was also pointing to the same direction: They're looking for things to be "gritty" and "dark". They advertise it as being "big" while not even hinting at the cool things that made Trek unique in its first 40 years. Nothing about optimism, wonder or morality. Nothing about the future being better than the present. Only big and pompous words that are typical of modern hollywood.

The only thing remotely Trekkian I've seen so far from "Discovery" is the diverse crew. I'll give them that. It's a good start, but this is hardly enough for a series to be worthy of bearing the Star Trek name.

And of-course, I'll be happy to be proven wrong.

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Apr 10, 2017, 2:31am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I liked DS9 very much, but this is the kind of Trek series you can only do once.

DS9 was "gritty" for a good reason and not for grittiness' sake. TNG's Federation was so naive that it was bound to explode in their faces at some point. I appreciated that DS9 explored the consequences of this, without throwing the Trek ideals completely out the windows. They walked a fine line, but in my opinion seldom crossed it (the most blatant exception being "for the Uniform").

As for Discovery - it looks like we're going to have a complete reboot (or a "re-imagination") of the TOS era which is "darker" and "grittier". Sounds familiar? Didn't we already do this 8 years ago? And looking at the comments over the net, it seems that Discovery is attracting exactly the same kind of fans.

And all that would have been fine and dandy, if they didn't stamp our baby's name on it. Why call this thing "Star Trek" when it is something else entirely?
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Ah, if only CBS started collaborating with the guys who do fan projects instead of gunning them down with lawsuits and "guidelines"... then we might actually have some incredibly good new Trek to watch.

Oh well... at least Discovery is going to have an amazing cast. Finally, one thing they've done right.

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Mar 12, 2017, 1:14am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"Never considered the possibility that Isaacs is playing Garth and "Captain Lorca" is just an alias. That would be cool! (It would also explain certain lawsuits filed by CBS.) "

It is very unlikely that CBS had any kind of specific storyline planned, at the time they started moving against Alec and Axanar.

So IF Lorca is Garth (and that's a pretty big IF) that would mean that CBS pretty much stolen Alec's idea. Don't know about you, but I - personally - won't be impressed by such a turn of events at all.


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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Feb 23, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@Brandon
"Truth is, all - CBS access, Klingons, time period, etc. - will be forgiven if they can just make a good show."

It is true that none of these "sins" are unforgivable. But if CBS knew what they were doing, they wouldn't have committed them in the first place.

I mean... Why would any person who knows what Trek is supposed to be all about, choose to go back to the 23rd century and then piss all over the established continuity?



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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I knew I should have phrased that more carefully, so let me try again:

GIVEN WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT CBS, there couldn't have been any other reason for them to set 'Discovery' in the 2250's, other than rebooting TOS.

Any other plan would require them to deal with the delicate issue of bringing the aesthetics of "The Cage" and the TOS ship interiors up to speed with modern production values.

This could be incredible if done right, but can you really see CBS going this route? These are the same guys who whined, just a few months ago, that "sci fi can't do well on TV". You think they'll even consider using a 50-year-old design as the basis of their stream service's flagship show?

Ain't gonna happen. It was obvious from the very beginning that CBS was going to play it safe in this respect. And when we combine "play it safe" with a show set in the 2250's, there's really only one conclusion that can be reached...
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"Those are Klingons?" (Bashir)

But seriously, is there any reason to believe these aliens are supposed to be Klingons? So far we only have the word of this Andrew McKay dude, of whom we've never heard of before.

Although... If these guys really *do* turn out to be Klingons, it wouldn't surprise me too much. I've already said, months ago, that setting the new series in the 2250's can only mean one thing: They are planning to rebooting TOS. There can't - really - be any other reason for setting "Discovery" in this era.

And the last official teaser confirmed this, with the Enterprise-like uniforms and the glimpses we got of the computer displays on the ship.

So really, is it any surprise that they plan to reimagine the Star Trek races as well? Since they're already changing everything else, who not?


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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Feb 2, 2017, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Completely agree with you, Robert.

My personal top episodes would also contain "Distant Origins", "Living Witness", "Before and After", "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy" (TUVOK! Activate the photonic cannon! XD)

When Voyager was good it was *very* good, even if - as a whole - it is my least favorite series (mostly because it tended to endlessly drag on in its later seasons).
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Feb 1, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

Well, the teaser did manage to get me excited while I was watching it, but then it ended and I realized they didn't really tell us anything about Discovery - AGAIN.

Except the uniforms. I guess it is now 100% confirmed that the starfleet uniforms of Discovery will be *nothing* like those seen in "The Cage" (and suspiciously similar to the uniforms seen on "Enterprise") which again confirms my earlier suspicions that Discovery is going to be a sneaky reboot of the 23rd century.

Hate to say "I told you so", but... I told you so.








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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

What I'd really like to see is a 25th century Federation that learned from its past mistakes. A Federation that learned the needed lessons from the Dominion Wars without sacrificing its lofty ideals. A Federation that is capable of upholding the highest moral standards even when under a deadly outside threat.

Most of TNG pretty much glossed over this point. Its easy to take the high ground when you're the strongest guy in the neighborhood. Then came the Borg, where the "solution" involved Admirals ordering despicible things to be done, Picard violating those orders, and everything turning okay in the end due to blind luck.

DS9, on the other hand, showed us a Federation which was completely inequipped to deal with these kinds of moral challanges (you know your "utopia" is in trouble when the day is saved by a shady secret organization within your ranks attempting genocide...)

So if the Federation has any hope of reclaiming its utopian status the 25th century, it must wrestle with some very difficult questions. I'd like to see Section 31 exposed out in the open, and Starfleet finding less sinister ways to deal with such difficult situtations. I'd also like to see the Federation realizing that the 24th century interpertation of the Prime Directive ("backwards planet should be left to die") is stupid and morally wrong. In later seasons, maybe, give us a bit of payoff for Q's final promise to Picard in "All Good Things..." ("see you... out there").

And as long as we're dreaming: Let's set this new show on the Enterprise-J, with humans and Xindi working together (as predicted by Daniels in "Enterprise" for this very time frame). Let's end a season with the famed "Battle of Procyon V" against the Sphere Builders, and show how Federation succesfully upholds its moral code in the face of a formidable enemy.

This is the kind of Star Trek I'd love to see in our dangerous times. Some people say that the 21st century can't do "optimistic science fiction" any more, but they seem to forget that TOS was aired when the entire world was on the brink of nuclear annihilation. Having Sulu and Chekov on the bridge of the NCC1701 (no bloody A,B,C or D) was a wonderful antidote to the mass paranoia of the times, and the world is desperately in need for such antidote today as well.

Of-course, niether CBS nor any other mega-corperation will ever air such a thing. They'll never even consider to green-light such a concept. But a man can dream...

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"I think everybody pretty much thinks this. Is anybody here happy when this is taking place?"

Depends on the quality of the writers and their ability to think out of the box (as well as the network's ability to ALLOW them to think out of the box).

I think that mid-23rd century is THE most challenging period of Trek history to write a TV show for. Its a challange of continuity and a challange of asthetics (do you really think CBS is brave enough to bring back the 1960's designs to the flag show of their streaming service?)

Make no mistake: In the hands of an excellent team of writers and designers with a genuine love for Trek, the 2250's could lead to the most wonderful Trek series that ever existed. But in the hands of any lesser production team, it will probably end up as an awful convoluted mess.

Which is why - I think - most Trekkies prefer the 25th century. It may not have the same potential for greatness, but it certainly is less risky.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 7:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

It's much easier to do with Dr. Who than with Star Trek, because Whovians don't expect the kind of in-universe continuity that Trekkies do.

In Trek you can't really "start anew", unless you do a complete reboot. TNG was able to do what it did not because it "started anew" but because TOS never reached its full potential with its 3 seasons and impossible budget and personel constraints (not to mention the compromises that were forced by NBC at the time).

So setting a new series in the 25th century isn't really going to solve the problem. As Alex aptly said: "another galaxy or a different quadrant will not automatically fix the lack of vision".

But really, we're quibbling about the unimportant stuff here. The truth is that a good team of writers would be able to write compelling stories in ANY setting.





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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jan 28, 2017, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I hear ya.

The problem is that 50 years of continuity baggage and fan expectations made the Star Trek universe old and tired. The Trek-universe is simply too well-known for us to be awed by stories set within its realm. What can we do? It is very difficult to tell awe-inspiring stories on a 6th spinoff of a half-century old franchise, especially after a few decades of establishing the galaxy as being a place with very few surprises left in store.

Each post-TNG series dealt with this problem in a different way, and to varying levels of success. DS9 focused on "future history" and politics instead of exploration (which IMO provided a much richer and more realistic background to the Roddenberry vision). VOY tried to tell the crew-centered story of a mixed crew stranded far away from home with limited resources (an excellent premise which was unfortunately forgotten after half-a-dozen episodes). ENT returned the sense-of-wonder to the crew, which was (at times) inspiring to watch even though the stuff they encountered was old hat to the viewers.

All of these were decent sci fi shows, in my view.

But if we're serious about recapturing the awe and wonder of TOS/TNG then it would probably be better to attempt it in a brand new universe with new rules.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jan 26, 2017, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

@ Alex

Honestly, the "boldly go" thing has less to do with the era in which the series is set, and more to do with the stories the writers choose to tell. Deep Space 9 is an excellent example of how to shake up the premise, even though it was set in the exact same era as TNG. And "Enterprise" is an example of both doing this right and doing it wrong: Too many episodes (especially in the first two seasons) were basically TNG episodes... but when the writers actually took the time and effort to write stories that are unique to the prequel premise, it usually payed off.

And there are plenty of good and original stories to tell in the TOS era too. There's an entire universe out there, and not everything must happen on a ship named "Enterprise".

It should also be noted that "Discovery" does strive to be different: It will have a main character and it won't be the captain. There will be recurring characters from other ships (Michelle Yeoh and the 3 klingons). There's little danger that "Discovery" will be a TNG (or TOS) clone.

So the era is not the main problem here. What *is* a problem, is that the production staff seem to have no idea what they're doing or where the project is going. The series was announced over a year ago, yet none of the teasers we've been given show any coherent vision. Again and again we get promos which tell us absolutely nothing regarding the setting or the story, and now we don't even have a launch date.

I kinda wonder what show we would have gotten had Fuller stayed onboard. I'm pretty sure he had a very clear vision for the show (and I have a hunch that disagreements regarding this vision were the real reason he bailed out.




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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jan 20, 2017, 5:49am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

"The last thing I want STD.. (yeah, it's STD because it sounds awful and it lingers on and on in production hell haha).. the last thing I want my awesome Trek to do is friggin' flat out DIE from it."

Trek won't "die". Nothing can take the 700+ "classic" episodes (TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT) from us.

Recently I began a rewatch of TOS with my wife, and you know something? Even after 50 years, it remains a classic. And CBS can't take the already existing legacy from us.

"Holy shit, guys. Do they realize how many people would jump at the chance to HANDLE THIS RIGHT?"

Yeah. Unfortunately, this cannot be done legally without CBS' approval (which they'll never give).

Maybe it's time to start a new sci fi universe. Create an alternative that fills the niche that the official "Trek" no longer fills. The brand "Star Trek" has been diluted in the past decade or so, anyway.

Oh, and it will be hilarious if Paramount or CBS try to sue somebody for doing this. I'd love to see them trying to convince a jury that a thoughtful quality show is "too similar" to the crap they're producing...
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jan 19, 2017, 1:35am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

They've already shelled out tons of $$$ into pre-production of this series, so I very much doubt they'll cancel it.

But you're right about one thing: It is obvious that CBS has no idea what they are doing. I also have the sinking feeling that the only reason they chose to do "Discovery" is the Axanar fiasco. You think it's a coincidence, that both shows are set at precisely the same time period? Nobody in their right minds would set a 2010's TV show in Star Trek's 2250's (Say what you will about "Enterprise", a 100+ year prequel makes much more sense than forcing yourself to choose between '60s asthetics and violating continuity in every episode).

So it isn't like CBS launched this project because they actually have a story to tell. It was a kneejerk reaction which they are now stuck with, and the end product will probably look that way too.

TL;DR: Series or no series, CBS is - indeed - screwing up the franchise and on the 50-year anniversary no less.






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